No Development without Disarmament
11 March 2014, 10.30 am – 12 pm
Organized by: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)
Participants: Rehana Hashmi (Peace Activist and Human Rights Defender from WILPF Pakistan); Joy Onyesoh (Women's Rights Activist and President of WILPF-Nigeria); Debir D'hejal Valdelamar Martelo (Youth and Women's Rights Activist from WILPF Colombia); Madeleine Rees (Secretary-General of WILPF); Ray Acheson (Disarmament Expert and Director of WILPF's Disarmament Programme).
On Tuesday, the 11th of March 2014 the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom hosted the event, “No Development without Disarmament”. The event brought together regional and global perspectives on women's peace activism to discuss how to strengthen an integrated approach to peace as part of a Post2015 development agenda that invests in gender equality, sustainable development and peace, rather than inequality, militarism and war.
According to WILPF Secretary General Madeleine Rees, an integrated approach that prevents conflict by reducing militarism and arms and strengthening women's participation and rights is critical to sustainable development and peace. Rehana Hashmi of WILPF-Pakistan discussed the impacts of drones, small arms and the war economy on development in Pakistan. “This war economy is not taking us anywhere,” she said, also adding, “It is critical to involve women in peace dialogues.” Debir D'hejal of WILPF-Colombia reminded participants that “peacemaking happens at the local level” and shared examples of WILPF's work with displaced women in Colombia and as part of the first Colombian women peace summit. “Women are needed to include gender perspective in Colombian negotiation,” she said. According to WILPF Reaching Critical Will Director, Ray Acheson, arms threaten livelihoods and peace, and “the use of nuclear weapons would be catastrophic for development.” Moving from the local to the global, the common message was that we cannot have sustainable development without disarmament and there is a need to invest in equality and peace as opposed to inequality and militarism and war.